The New Zealand pay-TV operator Sky Television is reportedly negotiating on deals for telcos to carry its programming in order to clear the way for its proposed merger with local fixed and mobile services provider Vodafone NZ. Sky and Vodafone announced their merger plans in June this year but rival telcos were quick to point out that the deal would give Vodafone too much influence in the converged telecoms-media market. A recent offer of free Sky Sports access for Vodafone unlimited broadband subscribers has already raised protests from competitors.
News portal Stuff has now revealed that Sky has started talks with the country’s third-placed cellco 2degrees over a potential tie-up that would give 2degrees access to Sky’s content and would also help to ease the competition concerns related to its merger with Vodafone. The country’s other main telco, Spark, has not commented on whether it too would be interested in a partnership with the broadcaster, though managing director Simon Moutter has previously said that Spark would be keen to package up Sky services with its own, but only on the right terms. New Zealand’s Competition Commission is due to give its decision on the Sky-Vodafone merger next month.